Am I Going To Hell?
November 17, 2007
On the way home from our retreat two weeks ago, my friends and I were discussing the Bible. I laughingly brought up that, according to the Bible, J and I are going to hell because I’m his third wife. I expected my friends to laugh along, or provide some sort of moral support, but instead I was answered by several minutes of silence.
I’ve known for years that there are several places in the Bible that state that divorced people, and those that marry divorcees are adulterers, and are going to hell. I’ve heard sermons on this, and discussed it with people before, but the reaction I got from my friends this time was different, and caused me to really begin to wonder. I’ve sometimes said rude, crude or generally offensive things to or about people, and thought “I’m going to hell for saying that”, but I’ve never pondered eternity in hell relative to my choice of a spouse. In the weeks since our road trip conversation, I have been thinking about it alot.
Questions pop into my head out of nowhere. If I’m going to go to hell anyway, for something that I can’t undo at this point, should I even bother with being a good Christian? Why not just go about my life committing even more, and more sinister sinful acts? Should the children of my church be taught Bible lessons by a person who is bound for hell? Are my kids going to hell because they were concieved by two adulterers?
Yesterday I did some internet research on the subject. Although I didn’t spend alot of time searching, everything I found pointed to the fact that I am indeed on track for a one-way ticket to the firey pit. (ok, not everything I found, about 50% of my matches were about Paul Mcartney and Heather Mills).
The site I found the most disturbing was this one. It’s long, and if you don’t want to read it all, at least read the last paragraph. It sickens me. If the Lord punishes me for being someone’s third wife, I can and must, accept that. I married willingly at age 23. I was old enough to make my decision, and I would do it all over again. I chose my path, and will pay the price if necessary. However, I can not fathom how anyone can believe that, “all the unborn children who die in the womb or during delivery, the SIDS children, all the children who die before they reach the age at which they can understand Jesus, the mentally retarded who don’t have the capacity to know Jesus, and all those third world residents the missionaries never reached with the good news of our Lord”, are going to hell because they didn’t have the opportunity or ablity to know any better is beyond my comprehension.
The fact that this man is a leader of a congregation of 125,000 not only scares me, but doesn’t bode well for Christianity in general. I’m sure that if all the hell-bound members ceased tithing to this church, their website could no longer boast a “$750 Million dollar budget”. With 10% more spending money a seriel bride could save up for her next white wedding gown, a sex addict could buy pornography or prostitutes, and a drinker could purchase more alcohol. Take out all the adulterers, divorcees, those married to a divorcee, those that have had sexual thoughts about someone other than their spouse, those that had pre-maritial sex, drinkers, sodomites, and anyone who is themselves or whose ancestors are the product of anything but a first marriage, and I’m sure that this mega-church, as well as most others, would be a very desolate, not to mention financially challenged institution. If the pastor of my church convinced us they we were going to hell, because our great-great-great-great-great grandfather was the product of a second marriage, would there be a point in going to church? Removing the divorcees alone would drop membership by at least 50%. Our Sunday’s could be spent doing whatever we want, and we would have an extra 10% in our wallets to do so. The church would eventually cease to exist.
Perhaps I have discovered why my friends were so quiet that day. Among the four of them, one has a brother on his second marriage, one has a daughter that is married to a divorced man, and the father of the other two is on his second marriage, of which they are a product. The rest of our congregation is composed of several people with ex-spouses, and 2 of our last 3 pastors were on their second marriages also. Maybe my attempt at a humorus comment hit a little too close to home for all of us.
I like to think that I’m a good person, not perfect, but I try to always do the right thing. I have been taught that God is loving, and I don’t believe he will condem me to a afterlife in hell becuse I love someone that didn’t get it right on the first, or even the second time. The God I know would not punish babies, or the mentally challenged, because they never had the capacity to come to know Jesus.
I am going to continue to be as good a Christian as I can because I don’t believe that the fate of myself, my friends, and my family members past and present is sealed and we can only, “pray that Satan takes it easy on them (us) in the hereafter.” If I have to pay for having a happy, committed marriage, with eternity in hell, I know that I’ll have some good company.